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[in-hyoo-muh n or, often, -yoo-] /ɪnˈhyu mən or, often, -ˈyu-/
lacking qualities of sympathy, pity, warmth, compassion, or the like; cruel; brutal:
an inhuman master.
not suited for human beings.
not human.
Origin of inhuman
late Middle English
1475-85; < Latin inhūmānus; replacing late Middle English inhumain < Middle French < L. See in-3, human
Related forms
inhumanly, adverb
inhumanness, noun
Can be confused
inhuman, inhumane.
1. unfeeling, unsympathetic, cold, callous, hard, savage, brutish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inhuman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No; these telegraph poles are ugly and detestable, they are inhuman and indecent.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • He had dared to hope he might avert an invasion by this inhuman horde.

    Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin
  • It meant so much—just that little change in your voice when you forgot to be inhuman.

    The Education of Eric Lane Stephen McKenna
  • The plane trembled like a live thing in the grip of inhuman forces.

  • Your conduct is inhuman to thus persecute a helpless girl, your daughter.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for inhuman


Also inhumane (ˌɪnhjuːˈmeɪn). lacking humane feelings, such as sympathy, understanding, etc; cruel; brutal
not human
Derived Forms
inhumanely, adverb
inhumanly, adverb
inhumanness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inhuman

mid-15c., "cruel," from Latin inhumanus "inhuman, savage, cruel, rude, barbarous," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + humanus "human" (see human). Spelled inhumane till 18c. (see humane).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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